Germany Travel Guide

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Big Blimpin': That Time We Flew to Germany Just to Visit the Zeppelin Museum

April 18, 2014 at 2:36 PM | by | Comments (0)

Would you travel half-way around the world to visit a museum? If you've answered "yes" or "maybe," then we like you already, and perhaps you'll enjoy this first-person tale of a trip for exactly that purpose.

Part 1: Checking off the Zeppelin Museum
Part 2: Heading into the Zeppelin HQ and hangar
Part 3: Maybe never leaving?

In April 2011, Retronaut posted a series of vintage color photographs of the infamous Hindenburg airship. In mid 2012, I discovered there was an entire museum dedicated to it. Needing only one good reason to justify any of my travels, it was only a few months later I walked through the doors of the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen, Germany and climbed into the belly of a 1:1 scale model of the LZ 129 "Hindenburg" Zeppelin.

You may remember the Hindenburg from the tragedy of May 6, 1937, the one which forever impressed the phrase "Oh, the humanity" on, well, humanity. For all intents and purposes, that is the day the Zeppelin died, as flames engulfed the airship while docking at NJ's Lakehurst Naval Air Station and squelched any hope of a future for airships as reliable commercial transportation.

For a time, these hydrogen-filled, diesel-powered balloons were, nonetheless, the wave of the future...above the waves. They had novelty and stability on their side; whereas an ocean crossing could be a prescription for one week of mal de mer, a Zeppelin sailed along smoothly at a few thousand feet up, free from the motion of the ocean.

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Munich's Legalization of Public Nudity is Sexy, But Not Surprising

Where: Munich, Germany
April 17, 2014 at 1:34 PM | by | Comment (1)

Though many countries simply tolerate it via unwritten rules and an open mind, Munich has officially legalized public nudity by creating six designated "nudist zones" throughout the city. The zones are mostly centered around or near the Isar River, including two in Englischer Park.

Public nudity has been somewhat of a debate in Munich since statewide laws concerning nude sunbathing expired last fall, but showing skin is nothing new for the Germans. Despite all the hype and attention this news has brought, this writer can testify that nudity was more than tolerated last summer in Munich. On a visit in July, after having a drink at the world's largest beer garden, I took a walk through Englischer Park and saw many people bearing skin. It was absolutely common behavior and nothing that anyone seemed to think twice about. As noted, this was before the laws controlling nude sunbathing expired.

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Wes Anderson's 'Grand Budapest Hotel' is Actually a Classic German Department Store

March 7, 2014 at 1:19 PM | by | Comments (0)

This weekend Wes Anderson's latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, opens in theaters, but this is one resort you can't actually check into.

The movie is set in the fictional Republic of Zubrowka in the 1930s and, true to Anderson's style, takes viewers along on a whimsical caper involving a stolen painting and a group of wealthy and eclectic Zubrowkans.

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Monday, Five Thirty: Drinking Killepitsch in Dusseldorf

February 24, 2014 at 12:02 PM | by | Comments (0)

In celebration of the most needed happy hour of the week, we're launching a new column called “Monday, Five Thirty” that will take a look at different vices from around the world, specifically boozes and beers unique to a destination. Last week, it was Vana Tallinn in Estonia, and now, we head to Germany for a taste of the little-known Killepitsch.

Unless you are visiting Frankfurt, the German city that doesn’t drink beer, you will definitely be throwing back pints and liters with regularity while in Deutschland. Such is the case in Dusseldorf, famous for its amber-colored Altbier and its rivalry with nearby Kolsch-producing Cologne. But the small city on the Rhine has a syrupy dark side, one that came about during an air raid in World War II.

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Flight Review: Cheap and Easy from Newark to Munich on United

Where: Munich, Germany
January 22, 2014 at 3:25 PM | by | Comments (0)

The flight: United 106 from Newark to Munich, Germany.

We're not huge United flyers and usually prefer to hop the later Lufthansa flight out to Munich, but the price for United was too good (under $500!) to pass up in this instance.

Seated all the way in the back—seat 38K—isn't bad at all for a tad over 7 hours to Europe. Heck, we've endured a less comfortable seat for non-stops to Asia, so we boarded the plane already with a sense of "this won't be bad at all." This is regular Economy, not even "Economy Plus," as United calls their premium economy option, offering a few inches more legroom for a hundred dollars or more.

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The Coolest Things in Duty-Free Right Now are Chocolate Eggs Filled with Mini Airplanes

Where: Germany
January 20, 2014 at 11:05 AM | by | Comments (0)

Remember when McDonalds Happy Meals actually had some great toys inside? Heck, some series were even considered “collectible.” Those days disappeared with the arrival of plastic Bratz figurines and Furbies, but quality surprise toys can still be found, across the ocean, inside chocolate Kinder “Surprise" Eggs.

Every so often, Kinder released a special “traveller edition” pack of its most popular treat, the hollow eggs made of milk and white chocolate. A tiny plastic capsule inside the shell always contains some cute little knickknack, and right now those surprises are Airbus A330 aircraft models.

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Frankfurt Airport's Christmas Market is Worth a Long Layover

December 5, 2013 at 8:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

With security lines, crowds, and other less than awesome features—an airport isn’t necessarily the best place to welcome the holiday season. Some airports are looking to change this, however, and one in particular has embraced the holiday spirit in grand style. Germany's Frankfurt Airport is the must-visit airport for December, as they've installed a full-on Weihnachtsmarkt, or Christmas Market.

FRA is boasting decorations, trees, lights, and all of the usual holiday trimmings as they do their best to bring a traditional German holiday market atmosphere right to the terminals. The over 300 shops and restaurants at the airport are in the holiday spirit with Christmas specials and other deals and, on Christmas Eve, many of the stores will even stay open later than usual—just in case you need one more thing for that special someone.

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Down the Rabbit Hole: Discovering Where Fairy Tales Come from in Germany

Where: Kassel, Germany
September 26, 2013 at 11:18 AM | by | Comments (0)

Don Henley discovered that we've all been poisoned by fairy tales, but does he know who is to blame for it? We do...the Germans!

It was two academics from Deutschland, Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm, collectively known as the "Brothers Grimm," who are responsible for sending us all down the rabbit hole on a foolish mission to fulfill our unrealistic expectations of life.

The two brothers began aggregating and modifying folk tales from different mythologies in the early 1800s. In total, they published over 200 stories in a series of books, including the now well-known classic tales of Cinderella, The Frog Prince, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, Rumpelstiltskin, and Snow White. You may recognize a few of those titles!

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Four Drinks to Drink at Munich Oktoberfest (Other Than Beer)

Where: Munich, Germany
September 25, 2013 at 3:27 PM | by | Comments (0)

Prost! The 180th Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany has already begun, but you're not too late to get in on the fun. Running from September 21st through October 6th, the celebration of beer and the autumn harvest returns with its 14 Big Tents, an amusement park, and all the sausages under heat lamps you can handle.

Naturally the focus is again on beer, but we're here to say that, yes, we've been to Oktoberfest before and, yes, there's more than just heading for the hops. It's definitely too late to make a table reservation in a major beer tent, but drinking other beverages can still yield you a seat.

Here's four other liquids to guzzle during Oktoberfest 2013:

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Tis the Season for Dirndls and Lederhosen on Lufthansa's Special Oktoberfest Crew

Where: Germany
September 24, 2013 at 2:20 PM | by | Comments (0)

We've said it before and we'll say it again: Oktoberfest season is one of the best seasons! There are so many reasons, least among them all the special beers and the crispness of fall in the air. On the travel end, it means Lufthansa flight crew dressed in traditional Bavarian costumes.

2013 is the eighth consecutive year for the team of 14 known as the Lufthansa "Trachten Crew," but you'll only find them passing out pretzels and greeting you with a hearty "Grüß Gott" on specific flights into and out of Munich.

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6 'Been There, Done That' Tips for Ladies Heading to Oktoberfest in Munich

Where: Munich, Germany
September 20, 2013 at 12:11 PM | by | Comments (0)

Yay! It's that time of the year when we get to talk about Oktoberfest. The barrels will be tapped and the pretzels baked starting tomorrow, Saturday, September 21. Just as last year, we're going to lay some wisdom on ya as seasoned female revelers at Munich's massive party. Heed these, our six things for female travelers to know about Oktoberfest:

1. Beer is not the only authentic drink! In fact, we'd argue there are three other beverages it's "authentic" to drink at Oktoberfest, all of which work out well for those who don't particularly enjoy chugging beer: champagne, schnapps and Radler. Look beyond the ginormous beer tents to the Weinzelt tent, a smaller tent that specializes in Nymphenburger Sekt—sekt being German champagne. Even smaller and dotted around the Theresienwiese are schnapps booths, where a few Euro goes a long way (towards getting drunkers).

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One Museum, Two Supersonic Aircraft

Where: Germany
September 5, 2013 at 11:19 AM | by | Comments (0)

In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve got a little bit of a thing for airplanes. Even those that are no longer flying up in the sky are pretty darn awesome, and that’s especially the case for those which once cruised at supersonic speeds. Of course we know a bunch of spots to find Concorde, but if we’re not mistaken, there’s only one spot to check out Concorde and her supersonic sibling.

The Tupolev Tu-144 and Concorde both did the super fast thing in decades past, but now they’re taking life a little slower—as in not moving at all—on static display at an aviation museum. You'll find the pair at the Auto and Technik Museum in Sinsheim, Germany, also home to a variety of other historical transportation exhibits.

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